March 2, 1940—July 14, 2020
Life will never be the same for the family and friends of Jess Michael Arledge, who died at the age of 80 on July 14, 2020, after a short battle with coronavirus. Jess was born to Jesse and Margaret Arledge on March 2, 1940 and was the youngest of four children. God brought a man into the world who absolutely loved people, and whose smile, laugh and storytelling innately drew people to him.
He graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in Education. He moved to Kelso, Washington to become a teacher at Coweeman Junior High School in 1963 and met his soulmate, Jeannine, who he married in 1964. Jess and Jeannine have four children who were raised in Cowlitz County.
Jess had an adventurous spirit and vivaciousness for life and learning. He was an extraordinary man that threw himself into accomplishing whatever he set his mind to. He was a gifted athlete, playing baseball and football in high school and college, later coaching both in Kelso. He wanted to learn to fly, so he earned his pilot’s license. He was a member of Mazamas and climbed many mountains in the Pacific Northwest. After a few years, Jess decided to pursue his interest in building. He was a self-taught and skilled builder and craftsman, who started Arledge Construction Company, building the Longview Presbyterian Church and a multitude of custom homes in the area, prior to earning his Master’s Degree in Education and returning to teaching in Kelso, Washington as a science teacher at Huntington Junior High School. He was a passionate and exciting teacher who loved to share knowledge and his love of learning with his students. Jess was an avid fisherman; he spent many enjoyable hours bass fishing on Silverlake and salmon fishing on the Cowlitz and Columbia River. From building his own boat to collecting antique cars, Jess never got bored.
He will be exceedingly missed by his wife, Jeannine; his children and their spouses Floyd Arledge and Laura of Tacoma, Washington; Jeannie Arledge and Barry of Eastham, Merseyside, United Kingdom; Scott Arledge and Missy of Longview, Washington; and, Jamie Evans and Peter of Camas, Washington. He found joy in his role as “tickle monster” and supplier of copious amounts of sweets to his grandchildren Chastity Mcconahay, Crystal Stine, Matt Arledge, Kathleen ‘Katie’ Arledge, Benjamin Hale, Mary Hale, Carlie Arledge, Zachary Arledge, Ashley Arledge, Grayson Evans, and Logan Evans; and his great-grandchildren Hunter Stine, Brooke Stine, and Lexi Arledge. He is also survived by his siblings Gary Arledge and Virginia Garman, numerous nieces and nephews, and his beloved dog Blazer. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Anita McMullen.
To honor Jess, in lieu of flowers, please wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands so others don’t have to die of this horrible virus before their time, as Jess did.
His family will hold a private burial service. We ask you to help us celebrate his life by joining us in sharing memories of him at: forevermissed.com/jess-michael-arledge.
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